Tag Archives: first impressions

Hive Mentality

Uinta Brewing’s Hive “Honey Stung Ale:” Aroma of plain honey and sulfur with a dash here of sweet malt and a dash there of mellow, possibly unAmerican hops. Very gold with a lasting white head of big bubbles. Dry and lager-like in its clean malt flavors; the honey flavor has fermented out. Very high carbonation and a medium light body. This beer would be a great substitute for a cheap lager in the summer.

Wow, that was boring! Something strange happens to me when faced with a boring (but not undrinkable) beer: it slides right down my throat. Three minutes into this post, two ounces left in the glass. I didn’t even mean to! They could tagline this beer: “If you need calories fast, have a Hive!” (now the glass is empty) I can see scores of “discerning” BYU beer drinkers with cases of Hive in their fridges, playing classy “microbrew pong” and going on about how the hangover’s not as bad as Schaefer. Little yellow-labeled bottles lying next to the coffee table in the morning.

My god, I need to go play football or climb a mountain, something to render null the caloric effects of the last five minutes… that chin-up bar in my bedroom doorframe looks more appealing than ever… is there a sweat lodge nearby? I’ve got a growing skepticism of the small-brewery industry, mostly because I work so closely with the products. I told a friend one day, “I walk along, looking in each door of the cooler, and I feel like I know each beer, just from having handled each bottle. I see one and think, ‘guh, I know what you’ll taste like.'” And he thought he was a skeptic. I’ve already predicted the next economic bubble will be microbreweries, with everybody and their uncle converting their rural garage into 1-7 barrel brewhouses, feeding boozy hopwater to the neighborhood, trying to convince the world their IPA is the best ever.

Next time, we’ll try the Uinta “Wyld” (they’re missing a “d,” no?), an unwild-sounding organic extra pale ale. Why, oh why?

Tasting Snapshots 9/18

Happy Oktoberfest! To beer!

First impressions are everything, right? When I take the first whiff and sip of beer, if it’s remarkable, a rapid synaptic burst fires sensory images through my memory, triggering almost immediate response. For example:

Ninkasi Parlay Fresh Hop: Sage on the nose, along with some fresh spicy pine. Tastes like a blueberry muffin with sage butter! (I’ll have to try that as food someday)

Block 15 Ferme de la Ville-Provision: I can smell AND taste the grain, even after Brett. and barrel aging. Brilliant blend of spice, malt, and the smoothest sourness I’ve encountered.

Those are the remarkables of the day. This is a skill I’m hoping to develop further as part of judging practice; to build a neurological Rolodex from my scattered past experience of flavor and aroma.